WATCH NOW: Councilman Berg: "This man is a pathetic flea on American society"

Honolulu Councilman Tom Berg erupts during APEC
Honolulu Councilman Tom Berg erupts during APEC

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Police Department on Wednesday released the video it took of City Councilmember Tom Berg's run-in with US Secret Service agents during APEC last month. A sergeant with HPD's APEC bike detail recorded the incident with his helmet camera.

A forgotten cell phone at a secured APEC event snowballs into a heated confrontation between City Councilmember Tom Berg and Secret Service agents.

"I want this man fired," Berg said during the incident. "I want this man fired who lied to me and said I was never in this building, maam. I want his name, his badge, and I want him fired, maam."

Berg had been a guest at President Obama's reception at the Hale Koa Hotel November 12th. He left, but then tried to get back in to retrieve his phone.

The Secret Service stopped him because he didn't have the proper access credentials. A female agent steps in to try to calm the situation.

Berg: You're covering for ineptitude, maam.

Agent: I am here...

Berg: You're covering for ineptitude and incompetence, maam. I am a city councilman who witnessed APEC in its heyday.

Agent: Ok.

Berg: In its heyday.

According to a police report, the councilman appeared to be intoxicated and was "extremely argumentative and irrational." At one point, he called one of the Secret Service agents a "pathetic flea on American society."

Berg: Now my voice got escalated, gentlemen, when somebody lies to you and says I was never in the event. You need to listen clearly.

Agent: Sir.

Berg: You don't work for him.

Agent: Sir.

Berg: I pay your bill.

Berg says his cell phone is a lifeline for his constituents. He denies being intoxicated that night.

"What you see is a very passionate person trying to reclaim their property so I can do my job," he said after the HPD video was released.

Following a series of incidents, Councilmember Breene Harimoto unsuccessfully sought to have Berg stripped of his committee voting rights. On Wednesday, the pair hugged and appeared to have mended fences.

Berg now admits he could have handled the Secret Service encounter differently.

"I'm apologizing for my actions, absolutely," he said. "I believe that maybe I could have left the area and tried to make a few phone calls on someone else's phone, I guess."

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